Charles Barclay rejects “blood money” and criticism of “sports washing” against Leif Golf

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Charles Barclay has responded to criticism of golfers who chose to jump into the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, and is said to be in talks about joining the series as a broadcaster.

Participants in LIV Golf were screened for joining the league for huge sums of money. Critics have pointed to alleged human rights abuses by Saudi Arabia and accusations of the kingdom’s involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Barkley told the New York Post on Wednesday that he spoke to LIV Golf Commissioner Greg Norman about the league’s critics.

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A close-up of TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley speaks on set before the New York Knicks game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 25, 2016, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
(David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

“I told [Norman], listen, they make up words like “blood money” and “sports wash.” I said, “We all took ‘friendly’, and we all did our ‘sport wash’ thing, so I don’t like those words, to be honest with you,” Barkley said.

“If you play a professional sport, you’re taking kind of money from a not-so-great cause.”

When asked if the NBA’s relationship with China is an example, Barkley replied, “Yes, I don’t want to practice selective rage.”

Barclay was asked if it was different given that LIV Golf is directly backed by the Public Investment Fund, the financial arm of the Saudi government, from which he will receive his salary.

Basketball analyst and former NBA player Charles Barkley interacts with fans after being put on the 14th green during the final round of the U.S. Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on July 10, 2022, in Stateline, Nev.

Basketball analyst and former NBA player Charles Barkley interacts with fans after being put on the 14th green during the final round of the U.S. Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on July 10, 2022, in Stateline, Nev.
(Isaiah Vasquez/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images)

Former Ryder Cup captain Badrge Harrington feels no sympathy for Henrik Stenson after he joins golf at Liv

Now, those are semantics,” Barkley said. “I’m a Nike guy too, so I’m not going to do this thing where I pick and choose what I get angry at, and where my money comes from. I don’t think that’s fair. I think that makes you a hypocrite.”

It was rumored that Barkley is meeting with LIV Golf officials about possibly becoming an anchor for the series. He is currently an analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” programme. LIV Golf pro-am is expected to play at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey.

He confirmed that some of his supporters had contacted him about a possible meeting with LIV Golf officials. He said he told them he hadn’t met anyone yet.

He told them, “Let’s let this thing happen before you all call me upset.”

Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, throws beer to spectators in the 18th green during the Portland Invitational LIV Golf Championships in North Plains, Oregon, July 2, 2022.

Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, throws beer to spectators in the 18th green during the Portland Invitational LIV Golf Championships in North Plains, Oregon, July 2, 2022.
(AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

Three other PGA Tour pros joined LIV Golf this week.

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Henrik Stenson, Jason Kokrac and Charles Howell III were the last to jump ship. Stinson lost the Ryder Cup captain because of it.

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